Challenge Update: Week 37

The week of technical difficulties.

Challenge Rule 1: Buy No Clothes/Don’t Covet

This one is hard to categorize this week, as my always thoughtful sister has made an offer I can’t refuse.

Leave it to Poppy Fields to suggest that she would like to get me a zebra dress for my birthday. Which, of course, as you know, as you all know, is something I simply cannot refuse. So…my two months of coveting has brought me to a place where I might just get that object of my desires and I cannot be more excited.

So yes, yes, yes, I coveted. But the flipside of that is, anticipation is everything. My sister is the world’s best gift giver. I do not deserve her.

Challenge Rule 2: The Inventory

Add to the coveting, and the fact that I inherited a couple of things from a friend this week and I am feeling like a failure in my whole challenge. But so it goes. An adorable green peter pan collared choir-robish kind of thing, and a muumuu. Yes. A muumuu. Ask no questions you don’t want the answers to, friends. I am now on team muumuu.

Challenge Rule 3: Go-To Catalogue:

Having a little photo of an outfit that worked to refer back on days when I am feeling less than creative is a godsend. Considering that this week we were all sick (’tis back to school, after all), I was not feeling creative.

Challenge Rule 4: Mise en Place/Plan Ahead:

Mise en Place, what a rapturous concept. It’s not just the fact that everything is ready for me in the morning that I love (although I do love that.) What I love is how I feel when it gets to that point in the evening, when everything else I needed to do is finished and I can spend those few moments checking the next day’s weather and projecting my thoughts into the future and how I can make my own life easier. Mise en Place is self-love, in its very most basic and concrete iteration.

Challenge Rule 5: Repair and Mend, Alter when Necessary:

It seems that I am all about sleeves, as last week my alterations were sleeve related, but this week, when I inherited that cute little green choir robe dress with the Peter Pan Collar, I knew I would have to do something about the sleeves, too. I literally could not pull the sleeves up over my upper sausages, oops, I mean arms. So I couldn’t actually get the dress on to try it. Haha! A challenge! whispered Lily Fields, who famously quotes herself as saying,

One can never have too many green dresses.

Lily Fields, fashion adventurer

They aren’t perfect, but they will do and are even kinda cute. Also, cue my littlest scalawag and myself with matching Little Prince and Little Princess costumes:


As the year progresses, my little urges for things I don’t or shouldn’t have are fewer and further between, but nonetheless urgent-feeling. I am intrigued by this. I wonder if it is time to start asking: at what point does something become a legitimate desire, one that is worth examining and maybe even worth succumbing to? Do I need to set criteria for this kind of thing? I have long had a “decision-making question list” but my little urges seemed too small to bother with this kind of formality. Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t too small a thing.

In other news…

I queried two agents this week for my novels, an exciting development. This time, they are agents I am genuinely interested in working with, so the stakes feel much, much higher than they did last time.

I experienced a kind of euphoria once I sent them, a euphoria I could not enjoy because nearly immediately afterwards, everyone in my house fell ill with gigantic colds and the requisite back-to-school sinus infections. Plus, some construction work in our neighborhood cut power and fried our router at home, and we’ve had some trouble getting a replacement. Not wanting to expose people at my university library workstation to my sneezing etc, I stayed home without internet.

So what should have been a celebration turned into a stay-under-the-covers and recuperate kinda week. As it should, from time to time.

But we are all back to work and feeling 95%, which is pretty darn good.

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

4 thoughts on “Challenge Update: Week 37

  1. Wow! What a huge difference in color! Even your dress faded to blue!! I can’t wait to see your zebra dress!! OR should it be ZEBRA, due to its importance?? Glad everyone is feeling better. We went thru back to school colds too. Why do we adults have to get them too?? You’d think our immune systems would be so much stronger by now! lol


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